UFC 226: Brian Ortega on upcoming featherweight title shot, ‘It’s still unreal’

Brian Ortega is happy.

And it’s easy to see why.

The 26-year-old Los Angeles native is days away from his UFC Featherweight championship bout vs. Max Holloway — the co-main event at UFC 226 — on July 7.

He has an unblemished record at 14-0 and is on the biggest card of the year, in the most-perfect place for such an event (Hint: Las Vegas).

His foundation has made national headlines, and some VIP friends (Hint: Iron Man). He just wants to help people.

“I’m happy that all my hard work is finally showing. I’m happy to be here. For me, I’m out [of] the hood. I’m happy I’m not getting in trouble anymore. I’m doing good things and that’s it. I’m living a clean, healthy life. So I’m happy regardless,” said Ortega at a media event on Wednesday in Century City.

Along with the other co-main event featuring heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic (18-2) vs. light heavyweight belt holder Daniel Cormier (20-1) on July 7, Ortega vs. Holloway (19-3) should provide plenty of fireworks.

And for Ortega, it ‘was a dream, but now it’s a plan.’

‘Now, it’s our time to take our crack at [the title],” Ortega said. ” It’s still unreal. I know it’s happening. I see the buildup. It still just hasn’t really [set in].”

Ortega’s path to Las Vegas saw him KO Frankie Edgar in the first-round of UFC 222 (March 2018) and also his epic guillotine choke of Cub Swanson at UFC Fight Night (December 2017).

Holloway (5-foot-11, 155 pounds) matches up well vs. Ortega (5-8, 145).

“He’s the champ. I’m the guy who’s gotta come in there and take it from him. We’re both young. We both had tough fights. And now we are at the top.”